As well as her players, Catasauqua head softball coach Paige Kogelman has been dealing with fundamentals.
“The biggest thing for us is knowledge of the game,” said Kogelman, a former Roughie standout. “I never had to deal with teaching the game as a player or coach.
“They are now starting to figure it out. We are making more plays and adjusting to situations.”
Kogelman figured it would be a rough ride, and it has been.
Entering this week, the Roughies have an 0-7 record and have been shutout six times. They have scored a total of six runs.
After her freshman year on the track team, Taylor Richards recognized that it was time for a change.
She did jumps and sprints her first year, and then decided not to go out her sophomore year.
Last season, Richards found her niche. She began throwing discus and javelin and it has been a perfect match.
At the Whitehall Relays last Saturday, Richards recorded personal records (PR) in both events, notching 83 feet in each.
Ever since he began the game in his early youth, Cole Schiffer has been a catcher.
He has relished the position that usually attracts the least volunteers.
As a sophomore backstop, Schiffer understands there is plenty more to digest in his first season as the varsity signal caller.
“As soon as I tried it (catching), I knew it was for me,” said Schiffer. “I just knew I had to work on it.
“Now, I know I have to keep getting better every day.”
Two years ago, Dante Kaintz found his sport.
The Catasauqua senior played baseball and basketball in elementary and middle school, and he didn’t play any sports his freshman year.
In his sophomore year, Kaintz discovered track and it was an instant attraction. He also got a push from a former jumping standout.
“I loved it in an instant,” said Kaintz. “Ricky Houser helped me get into it. He talked to me about jumping and thought I would be good at it. Track has become a big part of my life.”
Jason Schneck already has seen the scene.
He was one of four seniors on the Roughies’ basketball team this past winter and helped a young team find itself along the way.
A few months later, Schneck, a team captain, has a feeling of déjà vu. Yet, he has been able to take a further leadership stance as a result of it.
“I see it as moving forward,” said Schneck, whose team has a 1-4 mark through Monday’s action. “We have all played together in the past.
“There is experience and we can have a good year.”
Catasauqua’s boys’ track team picked up a victory in the opening tri-meet with Northwestern and Northern Lehigh, but both Roughies’ teams took another important step.
The Roughies have develop depth to fill some open spots in the past, and they also are able to field more than one team in specific events.
“The boys had a nice win, and the girls looked good as well,” said head coach Kyle Rusnock. “The kids are working hard and competing at every level.
Catasauqua head baseball coach Steve Bradley sees plenty of inexperience with his current squad.
He also sees plenty of potential.
So, on any given day, there can be a mixture of satisfaction and frustration.
Such was the case in the Roughies’ latest game in a 10-8 loss at Pen Argyl Monday.
“We didn’t execute enough in the game and we didn’t make enough plays,” said Bradley about his loss to Pen Argyl. “We didn’t hit until late in the game. We have to do a better job at the plate.”
Four years ago, Catasauqua head football coach Mike McClarin adopted a 10-year-old rescue dog and named him “Toto.”
Recently, McClarin lost Toto and realized how he touched his life in a special way. As a result, McClarin decided to give back to animals at the Lehigh Valley Humane Society.
The coach organized his players and the school community in the “Roughs for Pups” program, in which food, toys, crates and other items were collected as donations.
On the surface, Catasauqua’s baseball team will enter the season with an inexperienced squad with little depth.
How the Roughies develop from there, however, can determine their season.
“We’re young,” said head coach Steve Bradley. “We don’t have a lot of numbers, but we have young players who have promise.
“We’ll see in about a month how we can move forward as a team.”
Andrew Martinez, Jason Schneck, and Bradshaw Henning are the lone seniors from a 6-14 team a year ago.
It likely will take some time before Catasauqua head track coach Kyle Rusnock sees his full contributions from his team this spring.
Rusnock lost a number of key contributors from last year’s squad, and he has watched a core of returning letter winners and promising newcomers combine to form the new transition.
“So far, things have been going pretty well,” said the ever-optimistic Rusnock. “We have a number of kids out and we have more of a foundation than last year. We have around 60-70 kids at practices and we have a number of freshmen who joined us this year.”